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Custom Made Medicine - Pharmacogenomics

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2010-05-20 21:56:23
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Article Summary: "Pharmacogenomics in the future promises to provide custom made drugs. This can be provided by considering genetic makeup like single nucleotide polymorphism, environmental influence, age and also condition of the health of an individual..."


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Introduction:

Pharmacogenomics deals with the study of influence of genetic variations of a person on drug's response like drug's efficacy and also its toxicity.

Pharmacogenomics in the future promises to provide custom made drugs. This can be provided by considering genetic makeup like single nucleotide polymorphism, environmental influence, age and also condition of the health of an individual.

Pharmacogenomics uses both traditional science like biochemistry along with new branches of science like genetics, in particular genes, single nucleotide polymorphism and many more.

BENEFITS OF PHARMACOGENOMICS:

1) Pharmaceutical companies may create new drugs based on proteins or enzymes linked with diseases. This may lead to drug discovery and these drugs will target specific diseases. This will improve effect of the drug and also will decrease damage to healthy cells of the body.

2) Instead of using traditional trial-and-error method to know the suitable drug to a particular patient with particular condition, doctor's can analyze patients genetic profile and they will decide the best suitable drug therapy from the beginning itself. Therefore it will help in speedy recovery of the patient and also decreases the likelihood of side effects of the drug. Pharmacogenomics has the potential to reduce hospitalization of patients due to adverse drug response.

3) Drug dosage can be determined by using person's genetic makeup like how medicines being processed by the body and how long body takes to metabolize the drug. This will reduce the drug overdose cases.

4) Knowing one's genome will allow him/her to make lifestyle changes at an early age so to avoid or reduce the severity of the disease.

5) Genetically engineered vaccines targeting many pathogens can be produced like DNA or RNA vaccines. This will activate the immune system but will not cause any infections.

6) Using genome or genetic information pharmaceutical companies will produce potential drugs for the therapies.

7) Pharmacogenomics will reduce Clinical trial cost and risks as the drugs are targeted on specific population with particular type of genome makeup.

8) Pharmacogenomics will reduce the number of adverse drug reaction cases, the time require to get drug approval, drugs are more efficient in curing the disease and less toxic to the body overall it will reduce the health care cost in the future.

SOME OF THE BARRIERS TO PHARMACOGENOMICS:

• Single nucleotide polymorphism influence in the drug response and metabolism. These single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) are variations in the genome that occur due to a single nucleotide (A, T, C, OR G) in the genome.
These SNPs occur every 100 to 300 bases along the genome of the human, therefore identification of these SNPs are time consuming and complicated. Till as of now, we still don't know which SNPs can significantly influence drug response and metabolism.

• Pharmaceutical companies are successful with traditional approach to drug development. Pharmacogenomics talks about the drugs to a small group of population with particular type of genome; this will reduce the market for particular drug so the profit margins of these pharmaceutical companies become small.

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